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Sunday, 15 April, 2001, 04:31 GMT 05:31 UK
In quotes: NTV takeover
Former NTV director Yevgeny Kiselyov, centre, at a rally in support of NTV
Former NTV head Kiselyov - bitter about the takeover
BBC Monitoring looks at what some of the key players in Russia have had to say about the takeover of Russia's independent television station NTV.

Boris Jordan
Boris Jordan: Beginning of a new era
Newly appointed NTV head, Boris Jordan: "I think that today is the beginning of a new era for NTV. I believe that today we can indeed build the first truly independent TV channel in Russia. I believe that today NTV is a company with a great future."

Former NTV head, Yevgeny Kiselyov: "I will not hide that all this is painful and I am bitter about it. NTV was our home... This home has been ruined. Mean and cynical people who have neither shame nor conscience, who are insolent and cowardly, ruined it."

The period of unbridledness, self-indulgence and off-handedness is coming to an end

Pro-Kremlin deputy
Vladimir Kulistikov, new NTV chief editor: "People should be united by one cause, which in this case is to keep NTV afloat - I mean its financial situation."

Boris Nemtsov, leader of the opposition Union of Right Forces: "If NTV remains in the hands of Gazprom, this undoubtedly represents the most powerful pressure on freedom of speech, and if this situation continues for long... it will simply be blasphemy to talk about freedom of speech in our country."

The situation is as if I call for my bodyguards, come to your place and throw you out of your home

Newspaper editor Yegor Yakovlev
Frants Klintsevich, deputy head of the pro-Kremlin Unity party: "The state has the right to take decisions which ensure order in the country and at the television... The period of unbridledness, self-indulgence and offhandedness is coming to an end."

Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov: "An owner has the right to decide what to do with his property. This was bound to happen sooner or later. I do not see anything out of the ordinary, compared with what other owners in Russia would normally do."

Grigory Yavlinsky, leader of the opposition Yabloko party: "What has been happening today in the corridors of NTV is a humiliation. It is a humiliation not only for the journalists, but also for the viewers, a humiliation for millions of Russian citizens. It is an act of violence which will breed hatred."

Grigory Yavlinsky
Grigory Yavlinsky: Humiliation for Russians
Yegor Yakovlev, editor of the Moscow newspaper Obshchaya Gazeta: "I disagree with my friend Grigory Yavlinsky, who described it as violence. It is plain banditry. They came without a court order. They had no authority to stop broadcasting but they did it. There were no bailiffs. The situation is as if I call for my bodyguards, come to your place and throw you out of your home."

Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov: "On the attitude of the shareholders and relations between the company and its creditors and debtors, the government and the entire leadership of the country are unanimous that it should be the court that will make its final decision. We do not connect this aspect with relations between the new management and the journalistic team."

Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov: "This situation is not new. At first they split the country by tearing it apart, just shredding it to pieces.... Now they are trying to do the same thing with all the media... Two clans are fighting not for the truth, not for glasnost, not for the freedom of speech but for control over specific media."

Deputy head of Media-Most holding company, Igor Malashenko, by telephone from abroad: "A creeping coup d'etat is in progress in the country. The same people who tried to seize power in 1991, are trying it again. They are the same people, first and foremost, the FSB [Russian Federal Security Service, former KGB]."

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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See also:

14 Apr 01 | Europe
Russian TV war intensifies
14 Apr 01 | Europe
Analysis: The battle for NTV
13 Apr 01 | Media reports
Putin: 'NTV not my problem'
04 Apr 01 | Europe
NTV's battle with the Kremlin
03 Apr 01 | Europe
Russian TV station loses freedom
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